Cost-effectiveness of online positive psychology: Randomized controlled trial

Linda Bolier, Cristina Majo, Filip Smit, Gerben Johan Westerhof, Merel Haverman, J.A. Walburg, Heleen Riper, Ernst Thomas Bohlmeijer

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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As yet, no evidence is available about the cost-effectiveness of positive psychological interventions. When offered via the Internet, these interventions may be particularly cost-effective, because they are highly scalable and do not rely on scant resources such as therapists’ time. Alongside a randomized controlled trial of an online positive psychological intervention, a health-economic evaluation was conducted. Mild to moderately depressed adults seeking self-help and recruited in the general population were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 143) and a waitlisted usual care group (n = 141). Improved clinical outcomes were achieved in the intervention group (at least for depression) at higher costs. When outliers (the top 2.5%, n = 5 in intervention group, n = 2 in control group) were removed, cost-effectiveness was increased considerably. For positive psychology, economic evaluations may be a means to nudge policy decision-makers towards placing positive psychological interventions on the health agenda
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-471
JournalThe Journal of positive psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-91500
  • METIS-304570


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